Category Archives: Education

Hear It, Share It – How to Talk to Doctors (Part 3 of 4)

Knowledge is Power - A Soft Voice.com

It’s week 3 in my Hear It, Share It series. My goal for this series was to share some chapters of my audiobook (for free/no download) with you in hopes to help during this Coronoavirus pandemic. I hope you’ve enjoyed listening to these chapters and found something to take away!

Even though my book with this chapter was released in 2012, the information remains timely and pertinent for telehealth visits as well as in-person appointments. Making a connection with your physician(s) can build a rapport that is less stressful and reduces the usual doctor visit anxiety. Click the play button below to hear voice actor/narrator, Doug Gochman read Chapter 9:

If you missed the first two parts of the series, you can use these links to go back and listen:

Part 1: Timing in Parkinson’s Disease May be Everything
Part 2: This Disease Isn’t Fair

Please feel free to comment about this chapter and share your own tips on how you talk with your doctor(s) by clicking the Leave a Comment button below. Share this post with others by clicking the share buttons on the right.

Come back next Thursday to hear the final installment in this audiobook sharing series! If you subscribe to the blog today, you will receive automatic notification when the next post is released.


I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. This is my personal opinion that I’ve developed as I’ve lived with Parkinson’s disease for over 30 years.

Does Masking Have A New Meaning?

Mask Up!

There is a common, unfunny, and overused joke about not playing poker with people who have Parkinson’s disease because many of us have reduced facial movement and it can be hard to read our expressions. This is masking, as I understand it. Sometimes the muscles for smiling just do not work well. Speech clarity and projection are vital to being understood. Being heard under a cloth mask when one has voice issues makes life frustrating for both the speaker and the listener.

Now, to make matters more of a challenge, add practicing social distancing, having a problem with your speech, having a softer voice, and placing a mask over that soft voice.  For someone with Parkinson’s disease, the combination of muffling the mouth, relying on just the eyes can be deceptive, and poor vocal projection, all add up to not being easily understood and worsens communications.

For some of us with Parkinson’s disease, our eyes are not as expressive or fluid as we would like, added to the tightening of facial, neck, and jaw muscles. Dry mouth, too much saliva, swallowing issues, and dental problems can all contribute to someone with Parkinson’s speech challenges.

Sight and Sound are Covered

Communication in a marriage is crucial and in this new COVID-19 pandemic of being home sequestered, the sharing of information is close and continuous. To maintain human interaction with family and friends by phone or new social technologies, takes a little practice.

Be sure that while under the fabric facial mask, (if your jaw is ok), to move your mouth, lips, and jaw. Exercising the facial muscles can add to your expressions. Do not just hide your face under the mask. Remember that you are going to have to speak louder, slower, and clearer, especially, with a mask covering your mouth. One more challenge to tackle. We can do it!

Hear It, Share It – (Part 2 of 4) – This Disease Isn’t Fair

Today’s posting is part two of the four chapters I am sharing from my audio book, A Soft Voice in a Noisy World – A Guide to Dealing and Healing with Parkinson’s Disease. This week’s chapter is about the fairness of Parkinson’s.

What is Fair?

We are all tasked with some sort of physical, mental, or spiritual challenge in our lives at some point. Some events that we face are inexplicable and hard to fathom. Often, we categorize a level of what is fair or unfair. Parkinson’s disease, for over 30 years, has taught me that as difficult as some lessons are to learn, they’ve helped me to grow.

Click the play button below to hear voice actor/narrator, Doug Gochman read Chapter 12 to hear my perspective on fairness:

Chapter 12 – This Disease Isn’t Fair

If you missed the first post in this series, visit this link: Part 1 – Timing In Parkinson’s Disease May Be Everything

Please feel free to comment about this chapter by clicking the Leave a Comment button below. If you liked this chapter, please share this post with others by clicking the share buttons on the right.

Next Week’s Chapter…

The next chapter in this series has some ideas on how to talk with your doctor. Come back next Thursday to hear the next installment! If you subscribe to the blog today, you will receive automatic notification when the next post is released.

My Droid Neighbors

Technology really can deliver, and Starship is proving it. This marvel of technology is providing an essential service, during this pandemic. My neighborhood in Virginia is being invaded by R2D2 lookalikes carrying meals from neighborhood restaurants. From coffee to ice cream these cute droids are aiming to please. This is innovation at it’s very best! GO ROBOTS!

At about 4 miles an hour, they zip down city sidewalks on target for delivery. What a date to praise the robot invasion—May the 4th be with you to all those techie and Star Wars lovers!

Tools and Resources

This pandemic has changed the world as we know it. There is no telling when quarantining will end and what will be the new normal. I have seen a few shining positives that have brought on what I hope will outlast the coronavirus outbreak.

After over a quarter of a century of advocating to Congress about the benefits of telehealth, your doctor visit by video has become a reality out of sheer necessity. Telehealth or telemedicine can reduce stress, anxiety, rush, travel time, germ exposure, and makes it easier for the carepartner. In trying times like these, heroes arise from selfless contributors, like the dedicated men and women facing the front-line of this virus, day after day.

As distance learning and remote access to information has quickly surged, I offer you a helpful list of ongoing classes, speech therapy, singing, relaxation, exercise, and socialization. This list of resources will hopefully help you to stay active, connected, and supported. Our list is a useful array of local, national, and regional online resources that may make your day, just a little better!

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